"We choose to go to the moon, not because it is easy but because it is hard" - JFK
RTÉ announces a special live event to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing, broadcasting from Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork, and bringing audiences on a journey to relive the moment that changed our world forever as Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the moon.
Presented by Aine Lawlor in front of a live studio audience, we’ll be reliving that epic journey with enhanced ‘real-time’ archive footage. From our own mission control we’ll have legendary space correspondent Leo Enright and a panel of experts including astronaut Cady Coleman who will detail the multiple unforeseen dangers encountered by Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong on their eight day voyage.
The programme will highlight the unique Irish contribution to space exploration from the Earl of Ross’s Leviathan telescope to the calculations provided by mathematician Pat Norris - that not only changed Apollo’s lunar trajectory - but the entire course of history. We’ll also hear from Irish astrophysicists working at NASA Goddard and finding out how we might now travel to and live on the moon.
Alongside space inspired artworks, there will be a unique musical collaboration between space and numerous locations around Ireland as some of Ireland’s favourite musicians sing with astronaut Chris Haddfield.
Where were you when we landed on the moon? Anne Doyle, Eilish O’Carroll and Fr Brian D’Arcy to take us back to 20 July 1969 with their memories of the moon landing. We’ll have archive film to capture a technological and cultural snapshot of life in 1960s Ireland.
50 Years: To The Moon and Back is funded in partnership with RTÉ, The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland.
RTÉ One, 20th July at 6:30pm